Chronic Pain

fibro2Approximately 100 million adults in the US suffer from chronic pain, according to a 2008 survey conducted by the Medical Expenditure Panel. An article in The Journal of Pain estimates this costs over $600 billion annually for medical expenses and lack of ability to work.

Besides being uncomfortable, suffering with chronic pain can cause increased muscle tension and headaches, affect your mood, disrupt your sleep, and lead to feelings of depression or anxiety.  You can get natural pain relief by making relaxation exercises a part of your pain management plan.

Biofeedback has been an effective treatment in helping individuals alleviate their own pain. Biofeedback helps people recognize and release the tension and stress that often leads to pain.

Pain Disorders That Biofeedback Can Treat

Biofeedback training has been shown to help pain stemming from all kinds of sources. Here are some disorders that have been helped by biofeedback therapy:

  • Headaches (common and migraine)
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Upper body pain (neck, shoulder, back)
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Spinal pain
  • Diabetes-related pain
  • Myofascial pain
  • Cancer-related pain

 

During a study where chronic pain patients were trained in mindfulness practices, the subjects reported:

present-moment pain reduced

negative body image reduced

inhibition of activity by pain reduced

symptoms reduced

mood disturbance reduced

psychological symptoms (including anxiety and depression) reduced

medication use for pain control reduced

activity levels and feelings of self-esteem increased.

Source:  The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain.
Kabat-Zinn J, Lipworth L, Burney R.